Friday, September 8, 2023

Weapons supplied to Ukraine may end up anywhere in the world - Interpol

 According to Interpol's Secretary General Jürgen Stock, weapons sent to Ukraine after Russia's invasion in February will end up on the global hidden economy and in the hands of criminals

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He urged Interpol's member states, especially those supplying weapons, to cooperate on arms tracing and to use its database to help “track and trace” the weapons 
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Interpol expressed serious concern about the delivery of small and heavy weapons to Ukraine that can end up in the hands of criminals in Europe 
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The concern comes after US armed forces exited Afghanistan in 2021 following two decades of war and left huge amounts of military equipment which eventually ended up in the hands of the Taliban 
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what is Interpol's role in monitoring weapons trafficking?  Interpol plays a crucial role in monitoring weapons trafficking through its Illicit Arms Records and Tracing Management System (iARMS) 
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iARMS is a global database that contains weapons reported as lost, stolen, trafficked, or smuggled in another country. It has over a million records that can help identify trafficking patterns and smuggling routes of firearms 
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The database has provided investigative leads on weapons diversion and enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations into firearms trafficking and firearms-related crimes
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Law enforcement agencies have also used iARMS to uncover criminal and terrorist networks responsible for the proliferation and misuse of firearms 
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Interpol also coordinates and implements intelligence-led operations to address firearms crimes and strengthen member countries' capacity to detect and prosecute arms trafficking offenses through intelligence-led law enforcement operations
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what are some challenges Interpol faces in monitoring weapons trafficking
Interpol faces several challenges in monitoring weapons trafficking. Some of these challenges include:
  1. Sophisticated methods and technological means used by organized criminal networks to facilitate irregular migration and smuggling of weapons
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  2. The interconnected and complex nature of smuggling routes, which may be simple and direct or circuitous
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  3. The misuse of technology, which expands the reach and profits of traffickers and smugglers while reducing their risks of being detected by law enforcement agencies
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  4. The ease with which small arms and light weapons can be concealed and transported, making trafficking in firearms a lucrative business that fuels and funds other types of serious crimes
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  5. The lack of standardized and harmonized procedures to recover firearms in beneficiary countries
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  6. The need to enhance countries' capabilities and awareness to gather and analyze intelligence and conduct firearms investigations
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  7. The need to promote and strengthen cooperation and information exchange between agencies at national, regional, and international levels during firearms investigations
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  8. The need to identify trends, routes, and patterns in firearms trafficking and increase understanding of the nature and extent of illicit trafficking in firearms
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  9. The need to provide an adequate legal framework on both firearms control and criminal justice enforcement measures and mechanisms
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  10. The need to balance Interpol's strict neutrality with the need to exchange war crimes information and investigate firearms-related crimes
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